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Since its founding in 2015, the Cal Coast Cares Foundation has had an outsized impact on the lives of students and teachers across the region.
The Foundation, established by California Coast Credit Union as a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit, provides grants for teachers and scholarships for college-bound high school seniors, including a special program for current or former foster youth, in San Diego and Riverside Counties.
“Our board of directors felt strongly about helping foster youth,” said Todd Lane, Vice Chair of the Foundation and CEO & President of California Coast Credit Union. “The board established a special set of criteria for foster applicants including fast-tracking first year recipients to allow them to easily qualify for a 2nd year scholarship as long as they met some very basic requirements. We feel this provides these students with an added degree of certainty and support that is probably lacking in other parts of their lives as they work through their special set of challenges.”
One of those former foster students to benefit from the Cal Coast Cares scholarship is Alexis Tenney, who is attending Grossmont College in La Mesa. She’s applying her scholarship to pursue a career goal inspired by her parents. “Being awarded this scholarship validates all my hard work is paying off. Because of the money I received, I will be able to earn my degree in Forensics with little or no student debt leftover,” said Tenney.
The Foundation has also directly impacted countless classrooms in the area through grants to teachers for classroom projects in the STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Arts and Math) topics. Grants have helped with everything from hydroponic greenhouse projects to robotics, chemistry kits and much more.
Teresa Basin, 4th grade teacher at Rail Ranch Elementary School in Murrieta, is one of the recipients of a recent classroom grant. She credited the Foundation with helping her inspire young minds. “The learning that takes place in the classroom should not only be academically rigorous, but also fun and engaging for students. Because of (the Foundation’s) generous donation, my students will be able to use the Robotic Legos as they collaborate in teams and solve real-world problems as they explore the world of engineering and science.”
The Cal Coast Cares Foundation hosts two signature annual fundraisers: a popular golf tournament in July and the Illuminate Pathways reception in the fall. The Foundation has been able to increase the number of scholarships and grants provided each year thanks to the generous financial contributions of community and business supporters. For more information, visit www.calcoastcu.org.